Mahmoud Abbas said on November 11 that Palestinians “would continue the march
until victory when Palestinian flags are hoisted over the walls of the Old City
of Jerusalem and its mosques and churches.”
As if this wasn’t bad enough
news, notice he did not say anything about synagogues, or Jewish holy places. In
case you were wondering, this has nothing to do with his respect for our sacred
sites. He hasn’t got any. On the contrary, if we are to believe what official
Palestinian TV News is saying.
The Palestine Media Watch NGO of Itamar
Marcus exposed an item: The Palestinian Authority has denounced the existence of
any Jewish history in Jerusalem. In this report, it claimed that the Jewish
Temple “exists only in the minds of radical organizations.”
Not only do
they deny Jewish identity to Jerusalem and the land, they actively reject and
destroy all evidence and facts placed before them.
Instead, they invent
an ancient Palestinian history in its place. The Palestinian Authority, from
Abbas down, accuses Israel of stealing Palestinian heritage when confronted with
the evidence of our history.
So what hope is there for mutual
understanding and recognition? There is none.
What do Palestinian flags
flying over Jerusalem mean in real-estate terms? And what are the potentially
explosive repercussions of such a move? Would they be hoisted over the Temple
Mount, the Western Wall? They have already said they do not recognize such a
What about David’s Citadel, or the Hurva Synagogue? Will you be
willing to stand in Mamilla and see Palestinian flags flying over the walls of
the Old City and Zion Gate? Apparently, those who support the division of
Jerusalem would. They naively think this would herald peace.
for real estate comes down to this. Can you see Hadassah University Medical
Center-Mount Scopus and the Rockefeller Museum under the sovereignty of a
Palestinian Authority? Will Christians, worldwide, tolerate having the Garden of
Gethsemane and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the hands of the
Palestinians? Do they care, at all, who are the guardians of their holy shrines?
How about the Mount of Olives?
And here’s the clincher. Even if Israel were to
be naïve enough to hand over this real estate to Palestinians, will we be able
to live with ourselves, will be able to live, when Hamas takes over the feeble
Palestinian Authority and rules over these vital assets in the heart of
Jerusalem? What would we have sacrificed for peace when that day comes, as it
inevitably will? Will we see the Islamic flag, alongside the Palestinian one,
flying over sacred Jewish and Christian sites, announcing yet another conquest
in their regional and global crusade? At that point we will realize, too late,
that our “peace gesture” was, in reality, surrender and submission to their
On that day, will the Hebrew University be renamed the Islamic
University? Surely it is better to live with their “Nakba” than to perpetrate
our own? As if this wasn’t bad enough, in June 2012, an Egyptian cleric close to
newly elected President Mohamed Morsi, in an amazing display of Islamic
chutzpah, claimed Jerusalem will be the capital of Egypt under Muslim
Safwat Hagazy said on Egyptian religious Annas TV, “Our
capital shall not be Cairo, Mecca or Medina. It shall be Jerusalem, with Allah’s
will. Our chant will be ‘Millions of martyrs will march towards Jerusalem!’” I
wonder what the Palestinians think about this, that their new capital will be
overrun by an emerging Egypt? What is meant is that Jerusalem is to be the
center of the Islamic global caliphate achieved on the back of the Palestinian
movement, even if they have to take it by force. Hagazy proved this by adding,
“Yes. We will either pray in Jerusalem, or we will be martyred there!” Masked
rioters have already been seen carrying the green Hamas flag through the streets
of Jerusalem. Better to give it peacefully to the Palestinians and avoid the
bloodshed, we are told. No self-respecting Jew would tolerate this hideous
All this is not to say we should cease striving for a solution
to the Palestinian problem, if only to get them off our backs. It may take the
form of a two-state solution. It may take other forms. Clearly, after decades of
failure, it will require creative, even original, thinking.
two-state solution is not the answer? Despite the overwhelming opinion that
this, and only this, is the only game in town, it is obviously not happening.
How can it given our negotiating partner.
Who, on the other side, can
deliver a final and permanent peace to us, even if we were to give them
everything they want? Who, in fact, speaks for the Palestinians – all the
Palestinians? Answer: No one.
So let’s stop dreaming and get real. Let’s
not waste time trying to persuade a weak, cowardly, rejectionist and devious
leader of a Palestinian minority who, in recent local elections in the West
Bank, failed to secure majorities in any of the main towns and cities, including
Ramallah, to recognize the Jewish state and live in peace alongside
It’s a futile exercise. It’s something he is loath to do. In any
case, even if he agreed on a deal he is incapable of delivering any
The Palestinian Arabs, beyond his parochial parish area, have
no intention of settling for anything less than the elimination of the Zionist
It is clear, from their public incitement and declarations, that
none of them has any desire to live alongside us in peace and harmony.
the contrary, as we recently witnessed, they really want to kill us.
people whose bible doesn’t mention Jerusalem once, a people who, when they pray
in Jerusalem do so with their backsides facing the Temple Mount and the Dome of
the Rock, cannot claim Jerusalem as a capital based on religious grounds,
despite their protests.
In truth, they want it as a statement of
conquest, to plant their flag to displace the Jewish infidel’s sovereignty over
Jerusalem. It’s less about having their state. It’s more about destroying our
state and planting their victory flag over Jerusalem.
Planting a flag is
a sign of sovereignty, but sovereignty over what? A state, or a staging post?
Here’s what Yasser Arafat said back in 1993; "...the Palestinian state is
within our grasp. Soon the Palestinian flag will fly on the walls, the minarets
and the cathedrals of Jerusalem.
"Since we cannot defeat Israel in war, we
do this in stages. We take any and every territory that we can of Palestine, and
establish sovereignty there, and we use it as a springboard to take more. When
the time comes, we can get the Arab nations to join us for the final blow
Interesting to note that he said this on the same day he
signed the Declaration of Principles on the White House lawn with president Bill
Clinton and Israel’s Yitzhak Rabin.
Such is the deception of the
Palestinians. Can we believe that Mahmoud Abbas, raised in the spirit of Arafat,
is any different? Jerusalem is the springboard to the rest of
Mahmoud Abbas holds to the same desire as Hamas, which recently
declared, during its recent missile attacks on Israel: “We are announcing a war
against the sons of apes and pigs, which will not end until the flag of Islam is
raised in Jerusalem.”
Hamas’s Ismael Haniyeh went further. At an
international conference, believe it or not on education, he said, “Israel is a
cancerous tumor that must be removed and uprooted.”
So you tell me if
flags over Jerusalem will be a sign of peace, or a warning of future
provocations and violence? Some people see Palestinian flags flying over
Jerusalem as a positive end to conflict. Believe me when I say that this will be
They will not be lovely pennants of peace. Rather they will
result in hell. These flags will be banners of war, leading to a continuing
desire for conquest as expressed by Arab leaders.
It is time for crisis
management, not crisis solutions. In politics, as in business, you should only
enter into crisis solutions when you are absolutely sure that everyone gathered
around the table is ready, honest and capable of delivering a permanent
agreement. Do we have that with the Palestinians? Absolutely not.
referendum, the majority of Israelis would readily accept a pragmatic and
guaranteed end of conflict agreement. Nobody can claim this to be true of the
other side. Crisis solution, therefore, is out of the question when the opposing
proponent is a minority representative of a fractious society and has proven to
be incapable of uniting his people around him. Hence, crisis management and
original alternatives must be the order of the day.
Let’s not be too
downhearted. There are other solutions to a failed two-state paradigm that do
not include a one-state answer. These alternatives have simply not been allowed
the air and space to germinate and take hold.
But time is on their side,
and Palestinian and Islamic flags over Jerusalem are certainly not an
Barry Shaw is the author of Israel Reclaiming the Narrative. He
is also the special consultant of delegitimization issues to The Strategic
Dialogue Center at the Netanya Academic College.